Have you stopped to think about your extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivations? I try to put my intrinsic motivations (those that allow me actually enjoy my work) in the forefront, as they really drive me. Whereas my extrinsic motivations (those like money, prestige, etc.) are those I try to place on the backburner. In fact, there is a lot of data that says those who find a career that fosters these intrinsic motivations (whatever they may be for you), will mean you’ll be happier, stay longer and be more engaged at work.
But … it all ties back to your character traits. If your career aligns with your character traits, then by default, you’re using your intrinsic motivation.
One of my favorite things right now is VIACharacter —it’s a free character strength test that helps you find your more natural traits … the traits that allow you to live in your sweet zone. And, when you live in your “sweet zone”, everything else levels up —everything becomes better.
Ways You Can Leverage Your Strengths at Work
After you take the character assessment, you can use these strengths to find your mojo. This doesn’t mean you ignore all your other traits or try to improve yourself in other areas. But consider the example of a kicker on at football team. He’s not practicing all year to be a linebacker or quarterback. He’s perfecting what he’s good at … and he’s thriving in his role.
I believe it behooves us to explore this model in the workplace.
Here are a few examples:
- If you have a humorous side, have a little fun at work with your team members. Share a joke or funny story to connect with other team members.
- Leadership is a great strength to have. Before a big meeting, spend five or ten minutes thinking of ways you can help your team to achieve goals and share one of these thoughts during the meeting.
- Prudence will help you plan ahead and be more prepared at work. When you arrive at work, spend some time going over your tasks and think of ways you can contribute to any meetings you are attending.
- Social Intelligence will help you take note of what motivates your team. During team meetings, try to pick out the strengths of at least one colleague and try to find ways you could help them utilize this strength in their work.
These are just a few examples of good personality and character traits and how you can use them at work to better yourself and your team members.
Why Should I Take the Strength Approach at Work?
There has been an increasing amount of research that shows that the application of strengths has a positive impact on the workplace for both team members and companies. Where the strengths approach has been introduced into businesses, it’s been shown to increase:
· Job satisfaction
· Team member engagement
· Achieving goals more effectively
Team members who employ the strength method also reported fewer days off due to sickness, which is important as a rising number of cases of team members being out due to stress or burnout continues.
Play Up Your Strengths
You should always focus on how you can leverage your strengths at work, but you shouldn’t ignore your weaknesses, either. Use your strengths to work on your weaknesses as well to find new ways to be successful and to grow within your company.